Friday, April 29, 2016

Update on Joseph A. "Frank" Blackman

For background, please see my original post, Mystery Monday - Joseph A. "Frank" Blackman.

Since writing the original post on June 16, 2013 the following information has been discovered.

Fellow researcher, Rita Jones, discovered the 1860 census for Burrell Blackman and family.  

Census transcribers had listed Blackman as Blackmore.

As mentioned in my original post, the 1850 census listed a son named Jacob and I wondered at the time if the Jacob listed was actually Joseph.  I now believe the Jacob listed in the 1850 census was Joab.  This same Joab can be seen in the 1860 census above.

A cousin remembered family calling Joseph by the nickname Joab so this lined up with my thinking that I was on the correct path.

Several months ago the Ancestry website uploaded thousands of wills/probate records.  In these records I discovered tutorship documents for the minor daughters of Joseph and Virginia "Jennie" Smith Blackman.  These documents were filed in Catahoula Parish on September 4, 1882 by the father of Virginia "Jennie" Smith, James Luther "J. L." Smith.

Records showed the parents of minor children, Henrietta Blackman and Mollie Blackman as Joab Blackman and Jennie Smith.  These records also confirmed the deaths of Joab and Jennie as being prior to September 4, 1882.

Another portion of the records revealed the following:
"...a claim of said minors in Milam County, Texas of one hundred and fifty dollars, said claim inherited by the minors from their grandfather's succession Burrell Blackman dec'd is worth one hundred dollars."

From this newly discovered information I now know:
  • Joseph's nickname was Joab
  • Joseph's father was Burrell Blackman
  • Joseph died before September 4, 1882
What I have not confirmed:
  • Date and location of Joseph's death
  • Location of Joseph's burial
  • Name of Joseph's mother  
Was the Margaret listed in census records his mother or step-mother?  Other children in the household are believed to be Cottens who chose to go by their step-father's surname (Blackman) until later in their lives.

An 1834 General Land Office of Texas record for the Jurisdiction of Liberty shows Burrell Blackman as a native of Mississippi and "a man of family consisting of himself & his wife."

The Margaret listed in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records was born circa 1822.  If she is the wife mentioned in the above land record she would have been about 12 years old in 1834.   This leads me to believe that Burrell was married to someone else in 1834.  It is also then possible that a child was born to this marriage and that child could have possibly been Joseph "Joab".

Other Blackmans found in the same 1834 land records include Bennett Blackman and Joab John Blackman.  Blackman family researchers show Bennett Blackman and wife, Elizabeth Collins were the parents of the following six children:
Joab John Blackman (b. abt 1800)
Burrell Blackman (b. abt 1805 in Wayne Co. MS)
Josiah Blackman (b. abt 1811 in MS)
Mary Polly Blackman Stone (b. abt 1815 in MS)
Catherine Blackman Bouse (b. abt 1816 in MS)
Sarah "Sally" Blackman (b. abt 1817 in MS)
My Autosomal DNA results match with several people who descend from the Bennett Blackman line.  However, I also have matches with several people who descend from the Cotten line so I have questions as to the accuracy of my DNA match results on Ancestry's website.

I may never be able to confirm the date and location of Joseph's death, his burial location, or the identity of his mother.  What I have discovered since June of 2013 proves that persistence, the help of others, and good old fashioned luck really do pay off.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Amanda Margaret Edmonds

Monroe News Star - 6/10/1976

Amanda Margaret Edmonds

Daughter of
William Thomas "Bill" Edmonds and Nelwyn Fox

Sister to

Died on June 10, 1976
Buried in the Hasley Cemetery
West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana

Amanda Margaret Edmonds was the granddaughter of James Thomas Edmonds who was a brother to my paternal grandfather, Bruce Edmonds.

Tombstone photograph was taken by FindAGrave member, Sharon Ray.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Frances Maude Herrin Brooks

Hattiesburg American - 6/14/1973

Frances Maude "Fannie" Herrin

Born on August 2, 1894

Daughter of
Simeon "Sim" Herrin and Mary Mathilda "Mollie" Bynum

Sister to
Ida, Ora, Lucy, Sallie, Prentiss Everett "Prent" and Buford Herrin

Wife of
Charles Samuel Brooks

Mother to
Gaston Wheeler, Gertrude Mamie, Mary Evelyn, Alson, Samuel,
Walter and Oliver Howard

Died on June 9, 1973
Buried in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery
Covington County, Mississippi

Tombstone photograph was taken by FindAGrave member, Barbara.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Alfonso Steele Celebrates 94th Birthday in 1911

The following article appeared in the April 3, 1911 edition of the Mexia Weekly Herald in Mexia, Texas:

Alfonso Steele was my paternal 3great grandfather through his son, Francis Marion "Frank" Steele; grandson, Isham Alfonso "Al" Steele; great granddaughter, Mary Allye Steele Edmonds; great-great grandson, Bruce Alfonso Edmonds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Memory of "Wit"

Mildred "Wit" Bynum - October 1944

The above photograph appeared in the October 10, 1944 edition of The Cadet which was the official publication of the Pearl River College in Poplarville, Mississippi.

Below the photograph, the following was printed:


Mildred Bynum, another attractive and outstanding Sophomore, known as "Wit," comes from Prentiss and is a graduate of Clem High School.  Now majoring in commerce, Mildred plans to continue her schooling after leaving P. R. C., but she has not decided where.
"Wit's" chief likes are the Marines, eating and Brookie [her best friend]; her dislikes are stingy boys, silly people, asparagus, and getting up early; her ambition is to marry a rich man and to own a dog farm; her greatest desire is to travel.  Mildred's hobby is collecting pennies.
Mildred is assistant circulation manager of The Cadet and secretary to President R. D. McLendon. She takes part in all campus activities.

Following her 1945 graduation from Pearl River College in Business Education, "Wit" decided to attend Mississippi Southern where she earned a teaching degree.  She taught in several Mississippi high schools before accepting a position in a small rural community in Louisiana.

"Wit" did not marry a marine or a rich man.

She married a local boy from a small rural community who had just returned from serving in the United States Army.

"Wit" did not own a dog farm.

But 'She Always had a Dog.'

"Wit" never had the opportunity to fulfill her greatest desire to travel.

Raising five children while working outside the home for many years did not allow for much travel.

"Wit" continued to like eating.

Coconut pie was one of her favorites.

"Wit" lost contact with her best friend, Brookie, over the years.

But she kept many mementos from their college days.

"Wit" never overcame her dislike of 'stingy' boys (or girls, for that matter) and 'silly people.'

She did, however, overcome her dislike of asparagus and 'getting up early.'

"Wit" continued her hobby of collecting pennies.

She added dimes to her collection and would often roll her coins before depositing them in her bank account.

Wit's last collection of pennies

"Wit" was born on July 22, 1926.

She passed from this life on January 25, 2012.

She would have been eighty-nine years old today.

I never knew the "Wit" mentioned in the 1944 article, though I caught glimpses of her from time to time.

I knew her as 'Mama.'